130 years ago today - May 3, 1892 • Tuesday

[George Q. Cannon]
The question was submitted to the First Presidency concerning the propriety of the Church attorneys defending brethren who were arrested for violations of the Edmunds law. I expressed my views to the effect that while there might be an impropriety in our Church attorneys defending flagrant violations of the law, still I thought it was our duty to help our brethren make such defense. We had a Defense Fund, to which the saints generally subscribed, and it was for the purpose of defending ourselves against attacks made upon us under this law that this fund was created, and our present lawyers are paid from it. I therefore thought, I said, that if a man were arrested he should apply to our attorneys and state his case to them. Many men might be arrested who were entirely innocent, and whom they could defend with perfect propriety, and who ought to be defended by them; but if there were cases that they felt might not be wise for them to identify themselves with, I thought that they should arrange with some other attorney whom the accused party might select and get them to do the business at as low a figure as possible, and that we should pay for it. Brother Le Grand Young came in to learn about our views, and at the request of President Woodruff I expressed these to him. They were approved by Presidents Woodruff and Smith, and Brother Young saw the force of them and said, as far as he was concerned he did not see that there was much impropriety in Brother F. [Franklin] S. Richards and himself defending these cases, unless it was some filthy case such as one that has been brought to light lately. He said Brother Richards seemed to have scruples, but in the last conversation he had with him upon this subject his scruples had been partly removed. We did not wish them to defend men who were guilty of any filthy conduct, even if it had been with their wives..

[The Journal of George Q. Cannon, Church Historian's Press, https://churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon]

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